I am just back from Abu Dhabi and Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, where I’ve been for over a week and it’s been a fantastic trip. I am absolutely cream crackered, knackered!
The trip itself was very exciting. For the first time in 12 years, I managed to take a business class flight with Etihad Airways, which was a super service. I did that because I was flying overnight and I thought that the business class bed would allow me to sleep. Sadly it didn’t, nothing down to the bed, but just down to me being a bit of a light sleeper.
So that was probably a slight waste of money, so maybe I won’t share this with the Head of Finance, but realistically it’s probably going to be day-flights next time and economy or premium economy back again. The trip was amazing. We got to spend lots of time with both different and prospective clients in the tourism sector. Obviously that’s a major focus for the region.
Many of the big western businesses and others, put their MENA, Middle East and North African, offices directly in Dubai because it’s such a great place to work and network. I have to say, having been to Dubai lots in the nineties, I mean probably the best part of 10 to 20 times. I found it completely unrecognisable from what I remembered.
Now I know that’s probably not surprising in the sense that we will know that Dubai has changed, but really it was mind-blowing just how much the area between Dubai and Abu Dhabi has been built up. There are cranes everywhere, there is clearly a lot going on in the region.
We enjoyed all of our meetings with the different prospective clients that we met, and I got a real impression that they were keen for a new agency to come into the region and focus on performance as well as transparency. So that really suits us very well. We really want to give clients peace of mind that their campaigns are in safe hands and that they’re truly getting the best value they can, the best return on investment.
I am now in a surprising position, where I’m looking to go back at least twice in the next month or two, to support our team there. I’m really looking forward to it. It’s been a long time since I’ve been away from the region and I thoroughly enjoyed my trip, and I’m very excited about going back.